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Syria – Russia Accusing U.S. of Attacks, Abduction Attempts, Team-play with Al-Qaeda

NOVANEWS

The situation in Syria is reaching another critical point. There is an increased possibility of a large scale clash between U.S. and Russian forces. We had warned of such a clash over control of the rich fields east of Deir Ezzor. At least three incidents over the last days point to more significant escalations.

  • On the 17th the U.S. accused Russia of a light air attack on its proxy forces north of Deir Ezzor. Russia denied that it had attacked those forces.
  • On the 18th and 19th large contingents of Russian and Syrian troops crossed the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor in east-Syria. The U.S. Kurdish/Arab proxy force in the area actively tried to hinder that movement.
  • In parallel a large al-Qaeda attack was launched in west-Syria. The Russian forces accuse U.S. intelligence services of having initiated that campaign. (The Syrian-Russian forces defeated the attack.)
  • Today the Russian military accused the U.S. Kurdish proxies near Deir Ezzor of firing artillery on its forces. It threatened massive retaliation.

The most dramatic incident was the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb.

Al-Qaeda in Syria, renamed to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, currently controls Idleb governate and Idleb city in north-west Syria. On September 19 it launched a large scale attack on Syrian government positions in north Hama, south of Idleb provinces. The al-Qaeda forces gained significant grounds before being stopped and forced to retreat. Nearly all the heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, that al-Qaeda had in the area were used and in the attack.

The spokesperson of the Russian military said (vid with English subtitles) that, according to Russian intelligence reports, al-Qaeda’s attack was made on behalf of the U.S. to slow down the Syrian-Russian campaign in the eastern province Deir Ezzor. A subtask for the terrorists was to capture a platoon of Russian soldiers. This is, to my knowledge, the first time that Russia made such a direct and extremely grave accusation against the U.S. forces and intelligence services in Syria.

From the Russian military statement:

For 24 hours, insurgents managed to dent the government troops’ defence line for up to 12 kilometers in depth and up to 20 kilometers in front.According to the received data, this offensive was initiated by the US special agencies in order to stop successful advance of the Syrian Arab Army to the east from Deir ez-Zor.

Seizing of a unit of the Russian Military Police was one of the main aims of insurgents. The Russian MP unit was operating in an observation post deployed as de-escalation observation forces.

As a result, the MP platoon (29 persons) was blocked by insurgents.

The encirclement has been breached. Units of the Russian Armed Forces have reached locations of SAA without losses.

After the al-Qaeda attack was launched the Russian air force in Syria initiated a massive counter campaign over Idleb province.

For the last 24 hours, aviation and artillery units have eliminated 187 objects, 850 terrorists, 11 tanks, 4 IFVs, 46 pickups, 5 mortars, 20 trucks, and 38 ammunition storages.Units of the 5th Airborne Assault Corpse launched a counter-attack and almost took [all] lost positions.

Pictures from the area showed several destroyed tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. This was a very costly campaign for al-Qaeda with no significant gain. It seems that Syrian and Russian intelligence were aware that an attack was coming but not of the details. For a while the situation was extremely critical. Then the large aerial counter campaign caught al-Qaeda by surprise and destroyed the attacking forces.

At the same time as the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb started U.S. proxy forces in east-Syria (yellow) took measures to hinder the fight of Syrian forces (red) against the Islamic State (black).

Source: Weekend Warrior

The Syrian government forces are cleared nearly all of Deir Ezzor city of ISIS forces. At stake now is the control of the oil fields east of Deir Ezzor and north of the Euphrates river.

Soon after crossing the Euphrates Syrian troops came under fire from U.S. proxy positions:

“According to the reports that the Syrian commanders have been sending from the frontline, most serious counter-attacks and mass shelling on the Syrian troops come from the north,” he said. “It is the area where units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as the US special operations units, are deployed, who, according to CNN, are providing medical aid to these militants instead of participating in the operation to liberate Raqqa,” [Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor] Konashenkov said.

The U.S. proxies also use their control of the Tabqa dam to hinder the river crossing:

Water discharges from the Euphrates dams controlled by the US-backed opposition hamper the advance of Syrian government troops near Deir ez-Zor, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.”Thus, the water situation on the Euphrates has deteriorated dramatically in the past 24 hours. As soon as the Syrian government troops began to cross the river, water level in the Euphrates rose within hours and the current velocity nearly doubled to two meters per second,” he said.

Today the Russian Defense Ministry accused the U.S. proxy forces of directly shelling its Syrian allies and the Russian forces accompanying them:

Russia warned a representative of the US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, that “any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed.””Firing points in these areas will be immediately suppressed by all means of destruction,” the general said.

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces approaching Deir ez-Zor from the north are easily joining IS terrorists, and Russian drones and reconnaissance recorded no clash between the IS with a “third force,” namely the SDF over the past week, he explained.

However, massive fire from mortars and rocket artillery was opened twice on the Syrian troops from the areas on the eastern shore of Euphrates where the SDF fighters and servicemen of US special forces are based, Konashenkov said.

The U.S. paid “Syrian Democratic Forces” that pushed into northern Deir Ezzor without meeting any resistance are mostly local tribes who were aligned with the Islamic State until the U.S. diplomat Brett McGurk hired them to fight on the U.S. side. They are led by Kurdish commanders and “advised” by U.S. special forces.

The U.S. wants to keep Syrian government forces away from the oil fields north of the Euphrates. It has plans to build and control a Kurdish proto-state in north-east Syria and control over the eastern Deir Ezzor oil would give such a state the necessary economic base.

But the U.S. has too few proxy forces available to actually take the oil area away from the Islamic State. Only the Syrian army has enough resources in the area. The U.S. is now cheating, attacking Syrian-Russian forces, and rushing to get an advantage. According to the Russians the U.S. Kurdish proxies have even stopped the fight against ISIS in Raqqa and moved forces from that area to take the oil in the east. I doubt that Syria and Russia will allow that to happen without taking measures to counter it.

With the al-Qaeda diversion attack in north-west Syria defeated and more reserves available the Syrian alliance should think about a fast air-assault on the oil fields. As soon as the oil wells are under Syrian government control and the ISIS presence eliminated the U.S. has no more excuse to continue the current deadly game.

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The NYT’s Yellow Journalism on Russia

NOVANEWS

The New York Times’ descent into yellow journalism over Russia recalls the sensationalism of Hearst and Pulitzer leading to the Spanish-American War, but the risks to humanity are much greater now, writes Robert Parry.

 

Reading The New York Times these days is like getting a daily dose of the “Two Minutes Hate” as envisioned in George Orwell’s 1984, except applied to America’s new/old enemy Russia. Even routine international behavior, such as Russia using fictitious names for potential adversaries during a military drill, is transformed into something weird and evil.

In the snide and alarmist style that the Times now always applies to Russia, reporter Andrew Higgins wrote – referring to a fictitious war-game “enemy” –

“The country does not exist, so it has neither an army nor any real citizens, though it has acquired a feisty following of would-be patriots online. Starting on Thursday, however, the fictional state, Veishnoriya, a distillation of the Kremlin’s darkest fears about the West, becomes the target of the combined military might of Russia and its ally Belarus.”

This snarky front-page story in Thursday’s print editions also played into the Times’ larger narrative about Russia as a disseminator of “fake news.” You see the Russkies are even inventing “fictional” enemies to bully. Hah-hah-hah! The article was entitled, “Russia’s War Games With Fake Enemies Cause Real Alarm.”

Of course, the U.S. and its allies also conduct war games against fictitious enemies, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the Times. For instance, U.S. war games in 2015 substituted five made-up states – Ariana, Atropia, Donovia, Gorgas and Limaria – for nations near the Caucasus mountains along the borders of Russia and Iran.

In earlier war games, the U.S. used both fictitious names and colors in place of actual countries. For instance, in 1981, the Reagan administration conducted “Ocean Venture” with that war-game scenario focused on a group of islands called “Amber and the Amberdines,” obvious stand-ins for Grenada and the Grenadines, with “Orange” used to represent Cuba.

In those cases, the maneuvers by the powerful U.S. military were clearly intended to intimidate far weaker countries. Yet, the U.S. mainstream media did not treat those war rehearsals for what they were, implicit aggression, but rather mocked protests from the obvious targets as paranoia since we all know the U.S. would never violate international law and invade some weak country! (As it turned out, Ocean Venture ’81 was a dress rehearsal for the actual U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.)

Yet, as far as the Times and its many imitators in the major media are concerned, there’s one standard for “us” and another for Russia and other countries that “we” don’t like.

Yellow Journalism

But the Times’ behavior over the past several years suggests something even more sinister than biased reporting. The “newspaper of record” has slid into yellow journalism, the practice of two earlier New York newspapers – William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World – that in the 1890s manipulated facts about the crisis in Cuba to push the United States into war with Spain, a conflict that many historians say marked the beginning of America’s global empire.

Illustration by Chesley Bonestell of nuclear bombs detonating over New York City, entitled “Hiroshima U.S.A.” Colliers, Aug. 5, 1950.

Except in today’s instance, The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putinso much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America’s Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you’ll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that.

At this stage, the Times doesn’t even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of “Russian aggression” or a “Russian invasion.” The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media.

Even as neo-Nazi and ultranationalist protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police, Yanukovych signaled a willingness to compromise and ordered his police to avoid worsening violence. But compromise wasn’t good enough for U.S. neocons – such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria NulandSen. John McCain; and National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman. They had invested too much in moving Ukraine away from Russia.

Nuland put the U.S. spending at $5 billion and was caught discussing with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should be in the new government and how to “glue” or “midwife this thing”; McCain appeared on stage urging on far-right militants; and Gershman was overseeing scores of NED projects inside Ukraine, which he had deemed the “biggest prize” and an important step in achieving an even bigger regime change in Russia, or as he put it: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

The Putsch

So, on Feb. 20, 2014, instead of seeking peace, a sniper firing from a building controlled by anti-Yanukovych forces killed both police and protesters, touching off a day of carnage. Immediately, the Western media blamed Yanukovych.

Shaken by the violence, Yanukovych again tried to pacify matters by reaching a compromise — guaranteed by France, Germany and Poland — to relinquish some of his powers and move up an election so he could be voted out of office peacefully. He also pulled back the police.

Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev.

At that juncture, the neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists spearheaded a violent putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, forcing Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Ignoring the agreement guaranteed by the three European nations, Nuland and the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the coup regime “legitimate.”

However, ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which represented Yanukovych’s electoral base, resisted the coup and turned to Russia for protection. Contrary to the Times’ narrative, there was no “Russian invasion” of Crimea because Russian troops were already there as part of an agreement for its Sevastopol naval base. That’s why you’ve never seen photos of Russian troops crashing across Ukraine’s borders in tanks or splashing ashore in Crimea with an amphibious landing or descending by parachute. They were already inside Crimea.

The Crimean autonomous government also voted to undertake a referendum on whether to leave the failed Ukrainian state and to rejoin Russia, which had governed Crimea since the Eighteenth Century. In that referendum, Crimean citizens voted by some 96 percent to exit Ukraine and seek reunion with Russia, a democratic and voluntary process that the Times always calls “annexation.”

The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a “Kremlin stooge” in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq’s WMD in 2002-03 were called “Saddam apologists.”

But what is particularly remarkable about the endless Russia-bashing is that – because it started under President Obama – it sucked in many American liberals and even some progressives. That process grew even worse when the contempt for Russia merged with the Left’s revulsion over Donald Trump’s election.

Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate.

The Times, The Washington Post and pretty much the entire U.S. news media joined the “resistance” to Trump’s presidency and embraced the neocon “regime change” goal for Putin’s Russia. Very few people care about the enormous risks that this “strategy” entails.

For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia.

The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn’t seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism.

The Times and rest of the mainstream media are just having too much fun hating Russia and Putin to worry about the possible extermination of life on planet Earth.

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Julian Assange Offers U.S. Government Proof Russia Wasn’t Source of Democratic Party Leaks, Says WSJ

NOVANEWS

According to the Wall Street Journal, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California spoke by phone on September 13th with U.S. President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, aiming to transmit to President Trump, from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a trade of ‘proof’ of Russian non-involvement in the transmission to the public of internal Democratic Party information during the 2016 Presidential contest with Hillary Clinton, in return for the U.S. Government’s stopping its efforts to prosecute Mr. Assange. Assange wanted finally to become freed from his years-long virtual house-arrest inside Ecuador’s London Embassy, by the United States Government efforts to force him to be tried in U.S. courts. So, he wants to offer this trade in which Assange would provide to the White House physical ‘proof’ that Russia had nothing to do with the Democratic Party leaks from (or what Russia’s enemies call ‘hacks’ into) Democratic Party computers, which produced the revelations which Hillary Clinton says cost her the 2016 election.

According to the WSJ report, General Kelly refused to inform President Trump of the offer.

The news-report was published on Friday night, September 15th, in the Wall Street Journal, and headlined “GOP Congressman Sought Trump Deal on WikiLeaks, Russia: California’s Dana Rohrabacher asks for pardon of Julian Assange in return for evidence Russia wasn’t source of hacked emails”. It said:

“Mr. Kelly didn’t make the president aware of Mr. Rohrabacher’s message, and Mr. Trump doesn’t know the details of the proposed deal.”

However, the news-report didn’t make clear whether Mr. Trump is even aware that Congressman Rohrabacher had attempted to communicate to the President the offer that Mr. Assange was wanting to communicate. Perhaps if Mr. Trump reads the Wall Street Journal, he’ll learn that Mr. Assange had wanted to offer this deal.

According to the WSJ’s report, Congressman Rohrabacher was apparently so desperate to communicate Mr. Assange’s offer to the President, that Rohrabacher even asked Kelly if Rohrabacher would be allowed to communicate the offer to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, an anti-Russia hardliner, for transmission through Pompeo, to the President. Apparently, Mr. Kelly stovepipes to the President only information that Kelly wants the President to know, but Trump can, on his own, learn of other information if he sees or hears it in the newsmedia.

The WSJ’s report also noted the background of the alleged Assange offer:

Mr. Rohrabacher, who has long been a pro-Russia voice in Congress, traveled to London in August to meet with Mr. Assange, who has been living in Ecuador’s embassy since 2012 to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault. Mr. Rohrabacher’s travel wasn’t paid for by the U.S. House of Representatives and wasn’t an official government trip, aides said.

The Swedish investigation into Mr. Assange ended in May, but he remains in the embassy to avoid arrest and extradition by the U.S.

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Congress Approves Sanctions on Iran, Russia And North Korea

NOVANEWS

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 30-31

Special Report

By Shirl McArthur

AS REPORTED IN previous issues, AIPAC strongly promoted S. 722, introduced in March by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), a wide-ranging measure to impose sanctions “in relation to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights.” But before the bill was brought to a vote by the full Senate, a Democratic amendment adding sanctions on Russia to the bill was agreed to by a vote of 97-2. The amendment also included a provision giving Congress the power to block any presidential effort to independently scale back existing Russian sanctions. On June 15, the Senate passed the amended bill by a vote of 98-2. The no votes were cast by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). However, the bill could not be passed by the House in its Senate-passed form, because the House parliamentarian ruled that it violates the constitutional provision that revenue bills must originate in the House.

So on July 24, after House leaders agreed to add the substance of a bill passed by the House in May to impose sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear and financial sectors, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced a slightly modified version of S. 722 as H.R. 3364. The modified bill was quickly passed, by the House on July 25 by a vote of 419-3 (the no votes cast by Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan, John Duncan of Tennessee and Thomas Massie of Kentucky), and by the Senate on July 27, again by a vote of 98-2. It was signed by President Donald Trump on Aug. 2 as P.L. 115-44. Congressional Democrats quickly praised the bill’s congressional review requirement as a rebuke to Trump’s apparent attitude toward Russia.

Previously Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), with two Democratic co-sponsors, on July 12 introduced H.R. 3203 imposing sanctions on Iran. In introducing it, Engel described it as a “House version of the Senate’s Russia-Iran Sanctions Bill.” However, the House Republican leadership chose to ignore it. Also, on July 26 Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3425 to authorize state and local governments to adopt and enforce measures restricting investment in Iran. It has 21 co-sponsors, including DeSantis. The previously described Iran sanctions bill, H.R. 1698, introduced by Royce in March, continues to gain co-sponsors. It now has 318, including Royce.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran. The one receiving the most support is H.Res. 359, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) on May 25. It would urge “the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” It was marked up and ordered to be reported to the full House on July 27. It has 48 co-sponsors, including Deutch.

On June 29 Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) with 10 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3118 concerned about “Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere.” Identical bills were introduced on July 20 “to impose additional sanctions with respect to Hezbollah”: S. 1595 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and eight co-sponsors, and H.R. 3329 was introduced in the House by Royce and 13 co-sponsors. And also on July 20 Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and four co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3342 to impose sanctions on persons responsible for human rights violations by Hezbollah’s use of civilians as human shields.

The other previously described Iran-related measures have made little progress, as shown in the “Status Updates” box.

ACLU OBJECTS TO CRIMINALIZING SUPPORT FOR BDS

Of the previously described bills that claim to be pro-Israel but in fact are pro-settlements, S. 720, introduced by Sens. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in March, and H.R. 1697, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) also in March, have received the most attention. On July 17 the ACLU published a letter to members of Congress opposing the bills because they would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The letter says, in part, “the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.” Then, on July 20, the ALCU published a post entitled, “The First Amendment Protects the Right to Boycott Israel.” So, on July 20, Cardin and Portman released a letter claiming that “nothing in [S. 720] restricts constitutionally protected free speech or limits criticism of Israel or its policies.” However, the text of the bill clearly prohibits U.S. persons from supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, “or requesting the imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.” S. 720 now has 49 co-sponsors, including Cardin and Portman, and H.R. 1697 has 254, including Roskam.

The other two “Combating BDS” [“Boycott, Divest, and Sanction”] bills strongly promoted by AIPAC have also gained some support. According to both S. 170, introduced by Rubio in January, and H.R. 2856, introduced in June by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), “a State or local government may adopt and enforce measures” to divest state or local assets from, or prohibit investment of state or local assets in, an entity that knowingly engages in BDS activity targeting Israel, or “Israel-controlled territories.” S. 170 has 45 co-sponsors, including Rubio, and H.R. 2856 has 83 co-sponsors, including McHenry.

JERUSALEM, ANTI-PALESTINIAN, ANTI-U.N. BILLS INTRODUCED

While most of the previously described measures saying the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem have made little progress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), with four co-sponsors, tried a different approach in introducing H.R. 3547 on July 28. It would “authorize the secretary of state to establish a permanent residence in Jerusalem, Israel, for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.”

Some of the previously introduced anti-Palestinian bills have made some progress. H.R. 1164, called the “Taylor Force Act” (after a former U.S. army officer killed in a Palestinian attack), introduced in February by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), now has 111 co-sponsors, including Lamborn. Its companion bill, S. 1697, with the same title, was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with 19 co-sponsors on Aug. 1. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee marked up S. 1697 and ordered it reported to the full Senate by a vote of 17-4 on Aug. 3. Both bills would prohibit aid to the West Bank and Gaza unless, among other things, the PA is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens by Palestinian individuals.

H.R. 2712, introduced in May by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), which would impose sanctions on the PA, now has 22 co-sponsors, including Mast. And S. 474, introduced in February by Graham, which would limit aid to the West Bank and Gaza, now has 20 co-sponsors, including Graham.

A new anti-U.N. measure is H.Res. 433, introduced July 11 by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) with three co-sponsors. It would “disapprove of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Inscription of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger.”

H.Res. 393, introduced June 20 by Hastings and four co-sponsors, would express “support for addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict in a concurrent track with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” rather than the previous strategy of solving the Palestinian conflict first before moving on to a regional peace. It also expresses support for a two-state solution.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT SYRIAN CIVILIANS

The full House on May 17 passed H.R. 1677, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection” bill introduced by Engel in March. It would impose sanctions on persons responsible for committing human rights violations and hindering access to humanitarian relief in Syria. When passed it had 109 co-sponsors, including Engel. H.R. 1785, “to require a comprehensive regional strategy to destroy ISIS and its affiliates,” introduced in March by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), still has 14 co-sponsors, including Kinzinger.

H.Res. 252, expressing the sense of the House on “the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria and supporting the establishment of safe zones in Syria,” introduced in April by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), now has 12 co-sponsors, including LaHood. The similar S.Res. 196, introduced in June by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) still has three co-sponsors, including Shaheen.

S.J. Res. 43, introduced in May by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), urging the passage of a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS still has no additional co-sponsors. But a new, unusually broad AUMF measure, H.J.Res. 112, was introduced July 20 by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). It would authorize the use of force “against Islamic Extremism.”

THREE MEASURES URGE BILATERAL COOPERATION

S.Res. 108, “reaffirming the commitment of the U.S. to the U.S.-Egypt partnership,” was introduced by Cardin on April 3, with six co-sponsors. Also, on May 24 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), with eight co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 2646, the “U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation” bill. It would extend Jordan’s inclusion among the countries eligible for certain streamlined defense sales. And on June 29 Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-WV) introduced H.R. 3146, urging the conclusion of a U.S.-Turkey Free Trade agreement.

 

SIDEBAR

Status Updates

H.R. 380, to direct the secretary of state to submit a report on designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, introduced in January by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), now has 23 co-sponsors, including McCaul.

H.R. 566, introduced in January by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) to require a report on the use by Iran of commercial aircraft for military activities, now has seven co-sponsors, including Roskam.

H.R. 257, the Jerusalem Embassy bill introduced in January by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), now has 34 co-sponsors, including Franks.

H.R. 1159, introduced in February by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) encouraging U.S.-Israel space cooperation, now has 31 co-sponsors, including Kilmer.

H.R. 377, introduced in January by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and aimed at designating the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, now has 65 co-sponsors, including Diaz-Balart. —S.M.

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Bloodstained ice axe used to kill Trotsky emerges after decades in the shadows

NOVANEWS

” True propaganda true lies” shoah.org.uk

Weapon used in 1940 assassination to go on display next year – but why did Ramón Mercader, armed with a gun and a dagger, resort to the ice pick?

Trotsky and his wife Natalia in 1937. Following the attack, Trotsky died of his wounds in hospital. Mercader was put on trial and was imprisoned for nearly 20 years.
 Trotsky and his wife Natalia in 1937. Following the attack, Trotsky died of his wounds in hospital. Mercader was put on trial and was imprisoned for nearly 20 years. Photograph: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

On the evening of 20 August 1940, a man known as Frank Jacson called at a large house in the suburbs of Mexico City, and asked to see the ‘Old Man’ – as everyone called its celebrated resident, Leon Trotsky.

A few minutes later, the tip of the axe was buried more than two inches into Trotsky’s skull, becoming arguably the world’s most infamous murder weapon.

The axe was fleetingly displayed at a police press conference, but then disappeared for more than six decades.

Next year, however, the bloodstained relic will go on public display at Washington’s International Spy Museum, which will reopen in a new building to accommodate thousands of other artefacts that have emerged from the shadows.

The story of the ice axe is a convoluted one, befitting the extraordinary and macabre story of the Trotsky assassination. After the 1940 press conference, it was stored in a Mexico City evidence room for several years until it was checked out by a secret police officer, Alfredo Salas, who argued he wanted to preserve it for posterity. He passed it on his daughter, Ana Alicia, who kept it under her bed for 40 years until deciding to put it up for sale in 2005.

Trotsky’s grandson, Esteban Volkov, offered to give blood for a DNA test – but only on condition that Salas donated the weapon to the museum at Trotsky’s house, preserved intact from the time of the murder. Salas rejected the deal.

“I am looking for some financial benefit,” she told the Guardian at the time. “I think something as historically important at this should be worth something, no?”

The weapon was eventually bought by a US private collector, Keith Melton, a prolific author of books on the history of espionage, and a founding board member of the International Spy Museum. For the avid collector, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida, the ice axe had become something of an obsession.

“It was a search that took me 40 years, and up lots of blind allies and lots of misinformation,” Melton said. He doggedly tracked down every rumour, including one claiming the Mexican president was using it as a paperweight, until Salas emerged.

Melton would not disclose what he paid Salas for the axe. Contacted on Wednesday, Salas denied any knowledge of the sale. Trotsky’s grandson, Volkov, said he was unconcerned about the axe’s fate.

“Frankly, we are not interested in this,” he told the Guardian. “I never did the DNA test. I was not going to accept being part of a business deal for that woman.”

“It has no significance,” Volkov said. “It could have been a knife or a pistol. It doesn’t have any significance that it was a pick. And it was clumsily done, too.

“Who knows if it is the real axe?” he added.

Melton said he had authenticated the artefact beyond doubt and by several methods. There is a paper trail confirming that it passed into Salas’ possession. It bears the stamp of the Austrian manufacturer, Werkgen Fulpmes, a detail that was not made public; it is of the same dimensions as those recorded in the police report and it still bears the rust mark left by assassin’s bloody fingerprint, identical to the one in the photograph from the 1940 press conference.

Melton also believes he has also solved one of the enduring mysteries about Trotsky’s murder. Why, if the killer had an automatic pistol and a 13in dagger, did he resort to the ice axe?

Two sons of the 1917 Russian revolution, Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, were locked in rivalry that – by the nature of the two men – could only end in death.

The ice axe, scheduled to go on display in Washington next year.
 The ice axe, scheduled to go on display in Washington next year. Photograph: Handout

Stalin approved a final plan for Trotsky’s assassination in 1939. It comprised two parallel plots: the first was a frontal assault, led by David Alfaro Siqueiros, the Mexican muralist who was also an agent for Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD.

On 24 May 1940 Siqueiros and a team of hitmen, dressed as policemen and soldiers, raked Trotsky’s house with more than 200 bullets, but the intended victim and his wife Natalia survived.

It seemed to be a miraculous escape, but proved to be only a short reprieve. A back-up assassination plot was already in motion.

Two years earlier, at the congress of Trotsky’s Fourth International in Paris, a lonely young New Yorker and ardent Trotskyite, Sylvia Ageloff, was introduced to a dashing 25-year-old called Jacques Mornard, supposedly the son of a Belgian diplomat.

His real name was Ramón Mercader, a Spanish communist whose mother, a loyal Stalinist, had put him up to the task of killing Trotsky.

Ageloff was persuaded to move to Mexico City to work for the Trotsky family. Mercader told her that to move with her, he would have to adopt a false identity to avoid being pursued for military service. He would go under the name of Frank Jacson (the NKVD forgers misspelled Jackson on his passport).

Ageloff accepted the explanation and the Trotsky entourage grew accustomed to see him drive her to the compound every morning.

On August 20 1940, Mercader was making his 10th visit to the house.

He told the guards he was planning to publish an article in a magazine and wanted Trotsky to look at the draft. Since the May attack, however, a new level of security had been introduced. There was a second door with a lock that was controlled from a guard tower. If Mercader was going to escape after killing Trotsky, the guards in the tower would have to let him out.

“The only chance he had was to kill him silently and then exit as a guest before they discovered the body,” Melton said.

A pistol would clearly not work in that case, and a dagger could not be guaranteed to kill Trotsky outright. By previous experience, the NKVD recommended blunt force to the back of the head to guarantee a completely silent death; to do the job Mercader stole the ice axe from his landlord’s son.

The axe is now among 5,000 artefacts that Melton is pledging to the International Spy Museum from his collection, which also includes a British one-man submarine used in second world war raids, and one of the plates used by the Nazis to forge perfect pound notes.

According to Melton, none of his treasures has quite the eerie presence of the ice axe. After letting Mercader into his study, Trotsky sat down to read his article, and the assassin attacked.

Trotsky let out a long scream and fought with his assailant until the guards arrived.

“I still remember looking through the open door and seeing my grandfather lying on the floor with his head bathed in blood and hearing him tell somebody to ‘keep the boy away, he shouldn’t see this’,” Volkov recalled on Wednesday. “I always thought that was a sign of his humanity. Even in a moment like that he was worried about me.”

Trotsky died of his wounds a little over 24 hours later in hospital. Mercader was put on trial and imprisoned for nearly 20 years.

During his time in jail, his Soviet handlers ensured he was as comfortable as possible, sending money each week and even arranging a girlfriend for him: a Mexican starlet called Roquella, who became his wife and accompanied him to Moscow after his release.

Mercader died of cancer in Cuba in 1978, with Roquella by his side. His last words are said to have been: “I hear it always. I hear the scream. I know he’s waiting for me on the other side.”

 

Posted in Russia0 Comments

Gold, Oil and De-Dollarization? Russia and China’s Extensive Gold Reserves, China Yuan Oil Market

The 1944 Bretton Woods international monetary system as it has developed to the present is become, honestly said, the greatest hindrance to world peace and prosperity. Now China, increasingly backed by Russia—the two great Eurasian nations—are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over the world trade and finance. Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it.

Shortly before the end of the Second World War, the US Government, advised by the major international banks of Wall Street, drafted what many mistakenly believe was a new gold standard. In truth, it was a dollar standard in which every other member currency of the International Monetary Fund countries fixed the value of their currency to the dollar. In turn, the US dollar was fixed then to gold at a value equal to 1/35th of an ounce of gold. At the time Washington and Wall Street could impose such a system as the Federal Reserve held some 75% of all world monetary gold as a consequence of the war and related developments. Bretton Woods established the dollar which then became the reserve currency of world trade held by central banks.

Death Agony of a Defective Dollar Standard

By the end of the 1960’s with soaring US Federal budget deficits from costs of the Vietnam War and other foolish spending, the dollar standard began to show its deep structural flaws. A recovered Western Europe and Japan no longer needed billions of US dollars for financing reconstruction. Germany and Japan had become world class export economies with higher efficiency than US manufacturing owing to a growing obsolescence of US basic industry from steel to autos and basic infrastructure. Washington should then have significantly devalued the dollar against gold in order to correct the growing world trade imbalance. Such a dollar devaluation would have boosted US manufacturing export earnings and reduced the trade imbalances. It would have been a huge pus for the real US economy. However for Wall Street banks it spelled huge losses. So instead, the Johnson and then Nixon administrations printed more dollars and in effect exported inflation to the world.

The central banks of especially France and Germany reacted to the deafness in Washington by demanding US Federal Reserve gold for their US dollar reserves at $35 per unce s in the Bretton Woods 1944 agreement. By August 1971 the redemption of gold for inflated US dollars had reached a crisis point where Nixon was advised by a senior Treasury official, Paul Volcker, to rip up the Bretton Woods system.

By 1973 gold was allowed by Washington to trade freely and was no longer the backing of a sound US dollar. Instead, an engineered oil price shock in October 1973 that sent the dollar price of oil higher by 400% in a matter of months, created what Henry Kissinger then called the petrodollar.

The world needed oil for the economy. Washington, in a 1975 deal with the Saudi monarchy, insured that Arab OPEC would refuse to sell one drop of their oil to the world for any currency other than US dollars. The value of the dollar soared against other currencies such as the German Mark or Japanese Yen. Wall Street banks were awash in petrodollar deposits. The dollar casino was open and running, and the rest of the world was being fleeced by it.

In my book, Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century, I detail how the major New York international banks such as Chase, Citibank and Bank of America used the petrodollars then to recycle Arab oil profits to oil-importing countries in the developing world during the 1970’s, laying the seeds for the so-called Third World Debt Crisis. Curiously, it was the same Paul Volcker, a protégé ofDavid Rockefeller and Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, who this time, in October, 1979 as Chairman of the Fed, triggered the 1980s debt crisis by pushing Fed interest rates through the roof. He lied and claimed it was to nip inflation. It was to save the dollar and the Wall Street banks.

Today, the dollar is a strange phenomenon to put it mildly. The United States since 1971 has gone from being a premier industrial nation to a giant debt-bloated casino of speculation.

With Fed Funds interest rates between zero and one percent the past nine years—unprecedented in modern history—the major banks of Wall Street, the ones whose financial malfeasance and murderous greed created the 2007 Subprime crisis and its 2008 global financial Tsunami, set about to build a new speculative bubble. Rather than lend to debt-bloated cities for urgently-needed infrastructure or other productive avenues of the real economy, instead they created another colossal bubble in the stock market. Major companies used cheap credit to buy their own stocks back, thereby spurring the stock prices on Wall Street exchanges, a rise fed by hype and myths about “economic recovery.” The S&P-500 stock index rose by 320% since the end of 2008. I can assure you those paper stock rises are not because the real US economy has grown 320%.

American households earn less in real terms each year over decades. Since 1988 median household income has been stagnant amid steadily rising inflation, a declining real income. They must borrow more than ever in history. Federal Government debt is at an unmanageable $20 trillion with no end in sight. American industry has been closed and production shipped offshore, “outsourced” is the euphemism. Left behind is a high-debt, rotted out “service economy” where millions work two even three part-time jobs just to keep afloat.

The only factor keeping the dollar from total collapse is the US military and Washington’s deployment of deceptive NGOs around the world to facilitate plundering of the world economy.

So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt—Treasury securities—with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street smiled. They could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.

Viable Alternative Emerges

Now, ironically, two of the foreign economies that allowed the dollar an artificial life extension beyond 1989—Russia and China—are carefully unveiling that most feared alternative, a viable, gold-backed international currency and potentially, several similar currencies that can displace the unjust hegemonic role of the dollar today.

For several years both the Russian Federation and the Peoples’ Republic of China have been buying huge volumes of gold, largely to add to their central bank currency reserves which otherwise are typically in dollars or euro currencies. Until recently it was not clear quite why.

For several years it’s been known in gold markets that the largest buyers of physical gold were the central banks of China and of Russia. What was not so clear was how deep a strategy they had beyond simply creating trust in the currencies amid increasing economic sanctions and bellicose words of trade war out of Washington.

Now it’s clear why.

China and Russia, joined most likely by their major trading partner countries in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), as well as by their Eurasian partner countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are about to complete the working architecture of a new monetary alternative to a dollar world.

Currently, in addition to founding members China and Russia, the SCO full members include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and most recently India and Pakistan. This is a population of well over 3 billion people, some 42% of the entire world population, coming together in a coherent, planned, peaceful economic and political cooperation.

If we add to the SCO member countries the official Observer States—Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, states with expressed wish to formally join as full members, a glance at the world map will show the impressive potentials of the emerging SCO. Turkey is a formal Dialogue Partner exploring possible SCO membership application, as are Sri Lanka, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal. This, simply said, is enormous.

BRI and a Gold-Backed Silk Road

Until recently Washington think tanks and the Government have sneered at the emerging Eurasian institutions such as SCO. Unlike BRICS which is not made up of contiguous countries in a vast land-mass, the SCO group forms a geographic entity called Eurasia. When Chinese President Xi Jinpingproposed the creation of what then was called the New Economic Silk Road at a meeting in Kazakhstan in 2013, few in the West took it seriously. The name officially today is the Belt, Road Initiative (BRI). Today, the world is beginning to take serious note of the scope of the BRI.

It’s clear that the economic diplomacy of China, as of Russia and her Eurasian Economic Union group of countries, is very much about realization of advanced high-speed rail, ports, energy infrastructure weaving together a vast new market that, within less than a decade at present pace, will overshadow any economic potentials in the debt-bloated economically stagnant OECD countries of the EU and North America.

What until now was vitally needed, but not clear, was a strategy to get the nations of Eurasia free from the dollar and from their vulnerability to further US Treasury sanctions and financial warfare based on their dollar dependence. This is now about to happen.

At the September 5 annual BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, Russian President Putin made a simple and very clear statement of the Russian view of the present economic world. He stated,

“Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”

To my knowledge he has never been so explicit about currencies. Put this in context of the latest financial architecture unveiled by Beijing, and it becomes clear the world is about to enjoy new degrees of economic freedom.

China Yuan Oil Futures

According to a report in the Japan Nikkei Asian Review, China is about to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan that will be convertible into gold. This, when coupled with other moves over the past two years by China to become a viable alternative to London and New York to Shanghai, becomes really interesting.

China is the world’s largest importer of oil, the vast majority of it still paid in US dollars. If the new Yuan oil futures contract gains wide acceptance, it could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. That would challenge the two Wall Street-dominated oil benchmark contracts in North Sea Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil futures that until now has given Wall Street huge hidden advantages.

That would be one more huge manipulation lever eliminated by China and its oil partners, including very specially Russia. Introduction of an oil futures contract traded in Shanghai in Yuan, which recently gained membership in the select IMF SDR group of currencies, oil futures especially when convertible into gold, could change the geopolitical balance of power dramatically away from the Atlantic world to Eurasia.

In April 2016 China made a major move to become the new center for gold exchange and the world center of gold trade, physical gold. China today is the world’s largest gold producer, far ahead of fellow BRICS member South Africa, with Russia number two.

China has now established a vast storage center in the Chinese Qianhai Free Trade Zone next to Shenzhen, the city of some 18 million immediately north of Hong Kong on the Pearl River Delta. Now China is completing construction of a permanent gold vault facility, including a bonded warehouse, trading floor and related offices areas. The 105-year-old Hong Kong-based Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society is in a joint project with ICBC, China’s largest state bank and its largest gold importing bank, to create the Qianhai Storage Center. It begins to become clear why Washington deceptive NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy tried, unsuccessfully, to create an anti-Beijing Color Revolution, the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong in late 2014.

Now to add the new oil futures contract traded in China in Yuan with the gold backing will lead to a dramatic shift by key OPEC members, even in the Middle East, to prefer gold-backed Yuan for their oil over inflated US dollars that carry a geopolitical risk as Qatar experienced following the Trump visit to Riyadh some months ago. Notably, Russian state oil giant, Rosneft just announced that Chinese state oil company, CEFC China Energy Company Ltd. Just bought a 14% share of Rosneft from Qatar. It’s all beginning to fit together into a very coherent strategy.

The dollar imperium is in its painful death agony and its patriarchs are in reality denial otherwise known as the Trump presidency. Meanwhile the saner elements of this world are about building constructive, peaceful alternatives. They are even open to admit Washington, under honest rules, to join them. That’s remarkably generous isn’t it?

Posted in China, Russia0 Comments

An Economic Lesson for China and Russia

NOVANEWS

Is there anyone in Trump’s government who is not an imbecile?

After years of endless military threats against Russia—remember CIA deputy director Mike Morell saying on TV (Charlie Rose show) that the US should start killing Russians to give them a message, and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley threatening “We’ll beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before”—now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatens China. If China doesn’t abide by Washington’s new sanctions on North Korea, Mnuchin said the US “will put additional sanctions on them [China] and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system.”

Here is the broke US government $20 trillion in public debt, having to print money with which to buy its own bonds, threatening the second largest economy in the world, an economy on purchasing power parity terms that is larger than the US economy.

Take a moment to think about Mnuchin’s threat to China. How many US firms are located in China? It is not only Apple and Nike. Would sanctions on China mean that the US firms could not sell their Chinese made products in the US or anywhere outside China? Do you think the global US corporations would stand for this?

What if China responded by nationalizing all US factories and all Western owned banks in China and Hong Kong?  

Mnuchin is like the imbecile Nikki Haley. He doesn’t know who he is threatening.  

Consider Mnuchin’s threat to exclude China from the international dollar system. Nothing could do more harm to the US and more good to China.

A huge amount of economic transactions would simply exit the dollar system, reducing its scope and importance.  Most importantly, it would finally dawn on the Chinese and Russian governments that being a part of the dollar system is a massive liability with no benefits. Russia and China should years ago have created their own system.  Being part of Washington’s system simply lets Washington make threats and impose sanctions. 

The reason Russia and China are blind to this is that they foolishly sent students to the US to study economics.  These students returned completely brainwashed with neoliberal economics, “junk economics” in Michael Hudson’s term. This American economics makes Russian and Chinese economists de facto American stooges. They support policies that serve Washington instead of their own countries.

If China and Russia want to be sovereign countries, they must pray that Mnuchin does cut them off from the dollar system that exploits them. Then Russia and China will have to put in place their own system and learn real economics instead of propaganda posing as economics that serves Washington’s interest.

Posted in China, Russia0 Comments

Nazi regime wants the United States to attack Russia

NOVANEWS

Israel wants the United States to attack Russia

Israeli officials continue to tell the West that they are not willing to abide by the moral and political at all.

Time for Putin to tell Netanyahu to stop attacking Assad.

 

On September 5th, which is just a few days ago, The Jerusalem Post published an article entitled, “Why Israel needs to prepare America for the upcoming conflict in Syria,” in which it stated very specifically:

“For the next 10 days Israel will be simulating war conditions with Hezbollah, in its largest military exercise in over 20 years. Although the exercise is based upon a Lebanese battlefield, the Syrian frontier is equally problematic, with Hezbollah and Iran embedded within Syrian regime positions.

“After listening and speaking to some of Israel’s most trusted analysts on security and intelligence, visiting the Lebanese and Syrian borders, and speaking with active and reserve officers in the field, I am confident that Israel is deadly serious about challenging a permanent Iranian presence in Syria, Hezbollah aggression, and Iranian missile bases in Russian-protected areas.”[1]

The Jerusalem Post even suggested that the Syrian war is obviously in favor of Assad, and Israel is mad, sad, and wants to be bad again. Israeli officials in particular are trying to come up with a crazy excuse in order to incite another war. Listen very carefully to Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of research in the IDF Military Intelligence division and director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry:

“Iran almost assuredly wants to turn Syria into an Iranian military base… so that instead of threatening Israel from 1,300 kilometers away, the Iranian forces could sit on Israel’s doorstep. This would bring about a dramatic change in the nature of the threat Israel is facing.”[2]

Total nonsense. Iran has always acted in concert with Russia in the region, and if there is a military power in Syria that seeks to obliterate ISIS, which by the way is Israel’s most devoted ally, it is Russia. Kuperwasser’s statement doesn’t add up at all. But that’s just the beginning. Kuperwasser gets even crazier.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Kuperwasser “also believes that Iran may also be considering moving nuclear development into the unmonitored Syrian frontier to avoid IAEA detection of violations in Iran.”[3] The evidence for this nonsense?

Well, Kuperwasser presented none. It came out of his head, and he expects everyone to accept it. He also expect the United States to follow through his thinking, which may results into a bloody conflict with Russia and Iran. The Jerusalem Post continued to say:

“An Israeli tipping point may have been reached, forcing Israel to either be resigned to a permanent Iranian presence in Syria or significantly increase its operations in Syria, potentially escalating into a wider regional war.

“According to Yediot Aharonot, ‘Russia has reportedly stationed its advanced S-400 anti-missile defense system near an Iranian arms factory in Syria, which allegedly manufactures long-range guided missiles for Hezbollah.’

“When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pravda reported that Putin’s response to Netanyahu’s complaints was ‘Iran is Russia’s strategic ally in the Middle East.’

“So will Russia use its S-400 anti-aircraft system against an IAF attack on its Shi’ite allies? A successful Israeli attack would require Israel to knock out any S-400 system defending the target.

How would the Russians respond to the deaths of Russian soldiers manning the S-400? Can anyone predict how Trump and co. would respond to an Israeli attack killing Russian soldiers? A regional conflict now becomes a possibility.”[4]

Israel knows that it won’t survive if it wages a bloody war against Russia, therefore the regime in Tel Aviv is trying to con US officials to join them. This is one reason why they don’t want America to make peace with Russia. This is one reason why political prostitutes like Nikki Haley continues to say crazy things about Russia.

———————————————————-

Israeli officials continue to tell the West that they are not willing to abide by the moral and political at all. Former head of the National Security Council Yaakov Amidror declared unapologetically:

“At the end of the day it is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the Americans, or the Russians, to guarantee ourselves, and we will take all the measures that are needed for that.”[5]

Well, what if Assad says the same thing? Would it be an unpardonable sin? What we are seeing again and again is that the Israeli position is existentially unlivable, but Israeli officials are hopelessly trying to force that position upon us all. Well, we have bad news for them: it ain’t gonna happen. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn put it quite succinctly:

“And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me!”[6]


[1] Eric R. Mandel, “Why Israel needs to prepare America for the upcoming conflict in Syria,” Jerusalem Post, September 5, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The SolzhenitsynReader (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2006), 558.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Russia0 Comments

Putin Calls Out US Folly

NOVANEWS

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries on the sideline of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, Sept. 5, 2017

© AP Photo/ Wu Hong

Speaking at the BRICS summit this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin deplored the “low political culture” of American leaders.

“It is difficult to dialogue with such people,” said Putin, adding: “You can do nothing about it.”

Less diplomatically, what the Russian president was lamenting is this: the incorrigible stupidity of US leaders.

To say that is not merely about making a facetious swipe at American politicians. Far more seriously, it points to how difficult and dangerous international relations are when a major party is so evidently obtuse to reason and facts.

As if to illustrate the point, while Putin was castigating American low political culture, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was opening her mouth to release more of her habitually inane remarks.Haley told the UN Security Council on Monday that North Korea “was begging for war” and she affected a hilariously innocent pose, saying: “War is never something the United States wants.”

What? This is from an envoy whose country has been in a state of permanent war over the past two decades, and which at times has been bombing seven countries simultaneously in flagrant violation of international law.

For the American envoy to make such a patently false rendering of reality is beyond stupid. It is dangerously delusional. This is what Putin was referring to when he said it is difficult to dialogue with such people. It’s like trying to reason with someone who’s psychotic.

American cognitive disconnect with reality stems from various factors. Ignorance, arrogance, deception, propaganda, parochialism. But a shorthand term for the cognitive impairment is “stupidity”.

The trouble too with the Americans is that they seem to think that everyone else is stupid.

On the looming crisis over Korea, the US is pushing China and Russiato impose evermore stringent sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. Last weekend the country carried out its sixth and largest underground nuclear test explosion since 2006.The Americans have set a deadline next Monday for the UNSC to vote for a new round of economic punishments on Pyongyang. Washington wants the drastic sanction of cutting off fuel oil supplies to the country just as the harsh Korean winter approaches. That move is tantamount to an act of war, and yet Washington expects China and Russia to go along with an attack on the vital interests of North Korea.

The stupid arrogance of the Americans is staggering. The US has slapped numerous rounds of sanctions on Russia over dubious claims about interfering in Ukraine and US election meddling. Just last weekend, the Trump administration provocatively seized more Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington.

And yet the Americans expect Russia, as well as China whom it is also sanctioning over trade disputes, to go along with its agenda of strangulating North Korea.

As Putin remarked at the BRICS conference: “It’s ridiculous to put us on the same sanctions list as North Korea and then ask for our help in imposing sanctions on North Korea.”

Economic warfare and ramping up military threats is a road to nowhere, added the Russian leader, warning that to keep pushing on that direction, as the Americans are doing, is risking a global catastrophe.Many people around the world, including many ordinary American citizens, would agree. They can see the blindingly obvious. That the Korean crisis must be resolved peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue. All that is required is for all parties to sit down and talk to each other as equals without preconditions. China and Russia are indeed proposing such a roadmap for a peaceful settlement.

But the American leaders are so inebriated with their own self-righteousness and hubris they refuse to comply with this basic process of diplomacy. A process mandated by international law.

US ambassador Nikki Haley even lambasted the Chinese and Russian proposals as “an insult”.

“When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that. We certainly won’t,” said Haley.

Therein lies the kernel of the problem. The Americans call others a rogue regime not worthy of respect when it is they who constitute the biggest rogue regime on Earth, possessing an arsenal of 5,000 nuclear weapons and willing to use them to annihilate other nations, as they themselves have openly stated on numerous occasions.

On the basis of hyper-sanctimony, the Americans declare that they are not willing to talk with North Korea and that the “only options” are either intensifying sanctions or war.

But who are the Americans to order such an ultimatum? An ultimatum that is surely disastrous and with which the rest of the world has to subordinate to.

The arrogant, ignorant Americans are so besotted with their own hubris that they cannot even conceive of their outrageous hypocrisy. They bomb countries all over the world, point nuclear missiles at every corner of the planet, break countless laws, threaten Armageddon like ordering a hamburger, and yet they claim to be “exhausting diplomacy”.Obdurate American leaders don’t even know their own history; how they obliterated North Korea during the Korean War (1950-53) killing up to three million civilians. Is it any wonder North Korea has felt compelled to build nuclear weapons as a matter of survival against the genocidal American behemoth?

As Putin said: “North Koreans would rather eat grass than give up their nuclear weapons program.”

North Korea has wholly legitimate security concerns. It wants to be left in peace and not continually threatened by the genocidal United States, which never signed a peace treaty at the end of the Korean War. Despite American and Western demonization of North Korea, it is not offensive. All its actions are about deterrence and defense.

There is a simple and urgent way back from the precipice. Comprehensive talks on all concerns, with North Korea’s existential concerns in particular given full recognition.It is not rocket science. It is a matter of treating other nations with respect.

But this is the thing. The American political leaders are so dense, so stupid, they only know how to drive toward conflict and war, and to sell billions of dollars-worth of weapons. They are so stupid they don’t even see how their mentality is putting the whole world in grave peril of final destruction.

The world is being held hostage by idiots. It’s like being on a bus careering along cliff top roads, and the driver of this bus is a drunken imbecile.

China and Russia must take world leadership in spite of the Americans. Beijing and Moscow have to reject the US unilateral diktat of sanctions and militarism. As Putin said, there is no use trying to reason with such low-level people. They are beyond reason.

Resolute action is the only way to deal with them. No more sanctions, no military aggression, insist on full compliance with international law. America has gotten away with waging wars of aggression with impunity for far too long. China and Russia must make any US military action over North Korea a red line.

Posted in USA, Russia0 Comments

There Will Be No New Korean War’: What Putin Knows That Western Pundits Don’t

NOVANEWS

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with representatives of foreign business circles as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum

 

© Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev

At the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that there would not be another large-scale military conflict on the Korean peninsula. Russian political observer Anatoly Wasserman explains what it is that the Russian president knows that many observers don’t.

Addressing participants of the forum on Thursday, Putin said he believed all the parties involved in the standoff in the Korean peninsula are likely to “have enough common sense and understanding that they bear responsibility to the people in the region, and [that] we could solve this problem by diplomatic means.”

“Like my South Korean counterpart, I am sure that there will not be a large-scale conflict, especially one involving the use of weapons of mass destruction,” the Russian leader added.

Putin also recalled that in 2005, the parties to the conflict were on the verge of reaching an agreement on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. “Agreements were reached under which North Korea assumed responsibility to curtail its nuclear and missile programs. All other parties in this process promised to contribute to this. But then, someone started demanding from North Korea what it did not promise, and gradually the situation deteriorated to the present state,” he said.

Analyzing the Russian president’s remarks in an article for RIA Novosti, Anatoly Wasserman took note of the fact that “first of all, Putin diplomatically avoided naming this ‘someone’. It’s like in the famous anecdote about a group of woodland critters including a fox sitting down in the woods to play cards, one of them saying ‘if someone cheats, they’ll get a slap in the face –their sneaky orange face.'”

“In the conflict we’re discussing here, it’s equally obvious just who it was that may have demanded from North Korea something that Pyongyang never promised,” the political observer wrote.

“Factually,” Wasserman suggested, “among all the potential parties in the conflict on the Korean peninsula, only one is known for its inadequacy. Specifically, it was the same one that the Russian president was referring to a few days earlier at a press conference following the BRICS summit, when he said that these were the people who would confuse Austria with Australia.“In the case of the Koreas, the observer suggested that both of them are rational enough, “if only because the conflict that’s developing today is just another stage of a confrontation that’s been going on in the peninsula since the beginning of the 20th century, when Korea was first occupied and thoroughly genocided by Japan. Then, after Japan was expelled, there were those who sought to turn the territory…into their own strategic base, and who would use this base for another genocide of Korea.”

Background note: During the Korean War of 1950-1953, the US Air Force dropped 635,000 tons of bombs, nearly 150,000 tons more than it had in the entire the Pacific Theater during World War II, on Korea. The Korean War caused over 3 million civilian casualties, the vast majority of them in the north.

A South Korean JSA guard (front R) and North Korean guard (L) stand guard opposite each other at the border of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas. File photo.
© AFP 2017/ KIM DOO-HO
A South Korean JSA guard (front R) and North Korean guard (L) stand guard opposite each other at the border of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas. File photo.

“So far as I understand it, both Koreas remember the genocides that were arranged for them perfectly well, and do not have the slightest desire to allow anyone to repeat them,” Wasserman wrote. Therefore, he added, “I am quite certain that among all the participants of the conflict in the Korean peninsula, only the US is capable of behaving inadequately and aggressively.”

“Given these circumstances, I believe that the behavior of the South Korean president, which consists of a harmonious combination of a reminder of the danger posed by North Korea’s conduct, and promises to offer Pyongyang a role in mutually beneficial economic projects, is the most reasonable way forward,” the observer noted.

“Because on the one hand, participation in such projects significantly weakens interest in any aggressive behavior, even though it does not completely eliminate it…And on the other hand, extensive global experience shows that when a country has great economic potential, it often also has the opportunity to build up its defense potential quickly and, therefore, does not have to do so in advance and spend a great deal of money doing so…For this reason, countries that are economically developed, as a rule, appear less aggressive.”

With these facts in mind, Wasserman noted that the strict pro-diplomacy position “expressed by the South Korean and Russian presidents at the Eastern Economic Forum is the most promising way to resolve the conflict.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, left, during a joint press statement on the results of the meeting held as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University, Russky Island. September 6, 2017
© SPUTNIK/ GRIGORIY SISOEV
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, left, during a joint press statement on the results of the meeting held as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University, Russky Island. September 6, 2017.
Incidentally, the analyst wrote that it was worth recalling that in the early period of the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, “the United States promised Pyongyang that it would help it resolve a number of serious energy problems by supplying it with sufficient energy resources at normal world energy prices, and create in the north a powerful nuclear energy complex using American technology which would guarantee the inability to use this complex for military purposes.”

“Pyongyang readily agreed to these proposals,” Wasserman wrote. “But after that, Washington, quibbling over some small issue, refused to fulfill their own promise. And thus North Korea was forced to develop its own nuclear energy project, giving it the opportunity to continue its project to create nuclear weapons. So the US did not simply demand from North Korea something that they did not promise, but also violated their own promises, and in a way that obviously led to an aggravation of the situation.”

Ultimately, Wasserman wrote that he could not exclude that the US may have sought to deliberately aggravate the situation in the region, “because without this they would risk losing the political reason for deploying US troops in the Korean peninsula.”

US Air Force F-16 fighter jets wait to take off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan US Air Base in Osan, South Korea
© AP PHOTO/ AHN YOUNG-JOON
U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets wait to take off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Osan, South Korea

“Is there anyone now who’s interested in war?” the commentator asked. “I think not,” he answered. “Theoretically, one can imagine that for a part of the American establishment, this war could be deemed profitable under the present circumstances, since President Trump won the election thanks to his promise to return jobs to the country. And jobs began leaving the US for South Korea long before than they began to leave for China. Therefore, I cannot rule out the possibility that the destruction of South Korea as a result of a war would be beneficial to the US,” or at least to those financial and industrial groups who may look to rebuild the US industrial base at any cost.

“But even in the US, those forces for which a war in Korea would be unprofitable are even stronger. And the Russian president, I think, is also aware of this,” Wasserman concluded.

Related:

Down to Business: US to Make Billions in Arms Sales to Fraught Korean Peninsula
S. Korean Opposition Lawmakers to Include US Nukes Redeployment in Budget
North Korean Leader Orders Scientists to Strengthen Nuclear Forces
Pyongyang Will ‘Inevitably Respond’ to South Korea’s New ‘Frankenmissile’
The One-of-a-Kind Flight Over Pyongyang Shatters Myths About North Korea
Moscow Has ‘Best Option’ to Retaliate to US Dragging Its THAAD Closer to Russia
S Korean Opposition Criticizes President’s Idea of ‘Tentative’ THAAD Deployment
US Assault Ship Loaded with Joint Strike Fighters Heads to North Korea
Pyongyang’s Crude: Three Reasons Why North Korea Doesn’t Fear US Oil Embargo
Trump Says Military Action Possible to Solve N Korea Crisis, But Not Inevitable

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